Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grace Driscoll Does Not Masturbate

Strawberry Boy reveals it in his epic chapter on masturbation in the booklet, Porn Again Christian.

Mark Driscoll, a man obsessed by sex, and even more so, by gay sex, and even more passionately, obsessed by proper sexual activity, writes:
First, masturbation can be a form of homosexuality because it is a sexual act that does not involve a woman. If a man were to masturbate while engaged in other forms of sexual intimacy with his wife then he would not be doing so in a homosexual way. However, any man who does so without his wife in the room is bordering on homosexuality activity, particularly if he's watching himself in a mirror and being turned on by his own male body.

What?  If Mark is such an expert on anything that smells sexual, he should really know better.  If a woman is masturbating, well..., a woman is most definitely involved.  Oddly enough, further up in this laughable chapter, Strawberry Boy even acknowledges that women do masturbate but quickly adds that men do it more, subsequently dismissing the notion, at all.

Boy is Mark missing out.  I won't elaborate on what I mean by that.  But try it any way you want and you'll be glad you did.  Just don't do it with Monty Python swimming (pun intended) through your head.

Every sperm is saaaaaacred, every sperm is greeeeeat.  If a sperm is waaaaasted, god gets quite iraaate!

Now that that song is stuck in your head...

Mark goes on to say that the Bible doesn't specifically condemn masturbation and yet, it really does in a roundabout way.  But before he goes on to explain those creative references, he wants to save his guilty pleasure from being "Bobitted" (youch!  that hurt!) by claiming, in record time (yes, I could actually see the smoke trailing off the quickly written ink of these words, into the yonder reaches of the cyberworld), the following:

What I am not counting as masturbation is the manual stimulation between married people whereby a husband and wife enjoy pleasuring one another's genitals, as taught in the Scriptures, either orally (Song 2:3; 4:12) or with their hands (Song 2:6).

He HAS to keep his one tool for masturbation available - his wife's hand!  But, alas, Song of Solomon says nothing about pleasuring genitalia with feet, knees, elbows, nose, maybe a little usage of a few chompers, or even the ever-popular "Rabbit".  Sadly, Solomon had no rechargeable batteries to use, let alone un-rippable rubber (trust me...that rubber on that fine piece of machinery that opens doors to new sexual realms DOES. NOT. TEAR!).  Curse those lousy scriptures that are silent as to various body parts and toys!

Then, as he promised, Strawberry Boy takes us through a list of questions, with added scripture references to guilt us into not wanting to masturbate.  Let me take his test and see how spiritual I am.

1. Can you masturbate without lusting? - Job 31:1 - "I made a covenant with my eyes, how then could I gaze at a virgin?"
Well...yes!  I can masturbate without lusting.  And  I can't.  But sometimes I can.  And damn....sometimes I do it when my wife is away and all I can think of is her.  Maybe that's okay and all godly and stuff!?  But then, I think of Job's question and I think, "You dumbass!  With your eyes, brotha!"  Then I think of other questions like, can I have sex without lusting, can I walk past a restaurant without lusting, can I lust without lusting, can I lust about lust without lusting.  I get all twirled up in my head and come to, grasping my....oh...let's move on.

2. Can you masturbate in a way that builds oneness with your spouse, pulling you together more intimately through the act? - Genesis 2:24 - "A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh."

Whoa.  Wait up here, young sir Mark.  That's kind of a creepy reference to use here.  So...what you're saying is, prior to gettin' jiggy wif it with my bride, my mama and papa were supposed to assist me in pleasuring myself?  That scripture reference makes no sense at all.  But, I digress.  I'll answer the question.  Yes.

But I have a small problem with the way the question is formed.  I imagine myself, laying on my large bed, my wife on the far side, both of us pleasuring ourselves.  Then, as you, Sir Driscoll, so eloquently state, she turns to her side, grabs my unit, and pulls me over to her.  Not that I want to be all up in your business, Mark, but....DAMN!  That hurts!
3.  Can you masturbate without experiencing shame? - Genesis 2:24.

I read and reread that scripture reference a billion times and I still can't, for the life of me, figure out how it pertains to the question.  But yes, I can!  I used to experience shame, when it was beaten into my head by religious people that what I was doing was sinful.  But then, so was talking to a girl.  So was tapping a rock beat on the table.  So was interrupting my mother.  So was not tithing.  So many things that, today, as I look back, were stupid little rules to keep you in line, are normal, pleasant, and contribute to everyday happiness.  Why focus so much on anything sexual.  It's a small and yet very large part of life.  But seriously, so insignificant.  It doesn't need so many words to pillory it.
4. Can you masturbate with a clear conscience? - Titus 1:15 - "To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled."

Um...that reference is talking about EVERYTHING in life.  If you have an impure mind, even sex with your wife is impure.  So, who cares.  I don't want to answer this question because Jim Carrey does it so well.  Start watching at 5:30.  Apparently, Driscoll has never had a mind-blowing orgasm.

I could go on and deal with the fifth question.  But it's really just more of the same.  Mark Driscoll has decided that masturbation is bad and then went through the Bible to prove his point, trying very very hard to inject his ideas into the text where it simply doesn't fit - or rather, makes him look like a fool.  It's called prooftexting.

I won't pretend to be writing off his analysis based on his incorrect reading of the Bible, because I don't really care what the Bible says about sex - or sin, for that matter.  No book that tells me not to murder and then its god tells his people to murder whole nations, right down to the children, kidnap and rape women, and then sets up rules for proper slavery is ever going to to get close to my penis.  I might find a verse that tells me to cut it off and have to follow it.  Oh wait!

If your [penis] causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.  It is better to lose one member of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. - Matthew 5:29


Come join me where sexual activity is free and enjoyable.  You don't need a stone age or bronze age or pro-raping women age book telling you how.  Clearly it has no clue.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Million Dollar Idea: Perpetually Clean Fish Tanks

I'm calling it the Perp Tank.

The Perp Tank is simple and takes care of two problems: Cleaning out a fish tank (which everyone despises), and water that is entirely useless in your toilet tank, until, of course, you go potty.

This idea popped into my head when someone called me and asked me to come fix their toilet.  I don't usually fix toilets, electing to call a plumber for even the smallest whistle of water or creak of a mechanical part, but today was different.  I wanted to just do something from start to finish and make someone happy. 

I thought about the massive amounts of water that go through a toilet tank of a large family - like mine -  in an average day.  I also thought about the smaller amounts for smaller families, single people, or couples.  Then I thought about fish tanks that are routinely installed in opulent person's bathroom walls or left in the living room where they get in the way after the excitement of the first week of its presence wanes.  Finally, I thought about the drab nature of most bathrooms.

Then I put it together.

Swap out the toilet tank for a fish tank!  Add a filter to the hole at the bottom so you don't flush the fish, but their waste can easily get through.  Then, every time the toilet is flushed - BAM! - clean fish tank.  Fish can handle flapping about at the bottom while the tank refills and will be no worse for wear.  The family and guests are presented with a living work of art instead of a rectangular white thing that dates back to the days of King George the 3rd.

After completing my invention in my head, I jumped up from the toilet and burst out of the bathroom, rushing into the living room, to tell my kids the news.  As I spoke, they stared with a mixture of awe, disbelief, wonderment, and amusement, directly proportional to the length of time they have known me.  When I was all done, Felicity (5) looked at me with a confused look on her face and asked:

"But Daddy, we can't do that.  We don't have any fish food!"

She's right.  My idea is ruined.  I have no fish food.

If you want this idea, run with it.  Make your millions.  If you want to do it with me so I can make a few nickles, my kids will love you whence they can finally butter their bread.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Danger! Your Teenage Son is a Rapist!

Libby Anne wrote an excellent piece about how evangelicals view teenage boys in light of whether they allow them to babysit young children or not.

She writes:

[Evangelicals appear] to think that the fact that many (most?) teenage boys would give their right hands for a girlfriend and the chance to have consensual premarital sex means that these same boys would just as readily channel their sexual energies into sexually molesting children.

And that  is the crux of her article, which brings me to a curious thought.

I am convinced that mainstream Christianity, evangelicals, and fundamentalist, et al, have the cause and effect backwards.

They think young boys and men are so sexually driven, they would stop at nothing to rape your child.  Thus, you have to beat into their heads the idea that they are sexual beasts and must be saved from themselves.  They are taught that they have only a desire to do bad things and cannot, of themselves, be good.  Once they firmly believe this, and only then, can they have the tools to NOT rape a child.  But even then, it isn't good enough.  They simply cannot be allowed to get into a situation that puts a child at their fingertips while alone.

Again, this is back-ass-wards.

If you tell a child they are bad, they believe this about themselves.  They do!  I know.  I was called a liar my whole childhood.  I believed it with my whole heart - until a few months ago.  I had flogged myself for decades, constantly looking over my shoulder to see if the person I had just spoken to had really believed me or not.  One day, I had an epiphany of sorts and realized that I was a very truthful person.  So truthful, in fact, that I hurt myself all the time, due to it.  I was so honest, Abe freaking Lincoln would burn in hell for his lies and I would be granted eternal bliss in a Purgatory-less heaven.  Angels had nothing on me.

(Except for that one time, where I lied....oh nevermind.  The CIA reads this)

To my point, if you are constantly barraged with the idea that you are a sexual predator, capped only by rules and carefully prying adults, why would anyone be surprised if you end up believing the lies and becoming the evil they tried so hard to save you from?

In short, it is my non-objective, completely subjective, and entirely biased opinion, that the purity culture breeds deviants.  

Maybe it's time we began to educate people about sex instead of scare the living sperm out of them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

I Get Goog'ed!: Bill Gothard's Tampons

Today, some unlucky soul, with reverence in their heart, and worship on their lips, found Incongruous Circumspection while doing his due Berean diligence on Billy Boy G.  Their search term was:
Bill Gothard's tampons

I must say, I am not the expert on Billy Boy G., nor am I aware of his tampon use.  But, I think you might be onto something.  Tampons are super-absorbent and he has noted to the masses that he sheds many tears in his prostrate, rhema-expectant positions.

While lying, face down on the floor, hands folded in deep intercessory, upon the small of ones back, it becomes necessary to insert a hands-free object between the floor boards and the eyes, not to mention, one must catch the watery mucous that slyly escapes the nose when the crying becomes blubbery.

If my assessments are correct, I would suspect that Billy Boy G's trash can in his red-carpeted office would have at least four tampons in it per day.

But alas, you'll have to ask the barefooted young woman that took out his trash.  And yes, it would have always been a young woman.  Bill Gothard didn't take a fancy to young men bent over beside his desk.

That is all.

Happy Googling!

Family Research Council Wants You to Drive a Horse and Buggy

The Family Research Council, a far right wing organization in the United States, against everything that disagrees with the Bible - with exception to genocide and killing homosexuals and disobedient children, god-sanctioned kidnapping and rape, forced silence of women, and..well, you get the point.  They pretend they believe in biblical morality but throw away the stuff they deem bad.

In the end, they look like fools.

Anyway, here is there latest petition, sent out on Valentine's Day, that they hoped everyone on their email list would send to their Congressman or Senator:

[Representative/Senator], as one of your constituents, I ask that you please use your influence to urge the Supreme Court to uphold the Keep Horses and Buggies Legal Act and state statutes banning the use of cars. The owner/horse relationship between a family and his animal is a universally accepted social tradition that transcends all cultures and predates any religion. It is essential for transportation and the stability of society - not to mention the reduction in potholes and fewer incidences of horse meat infused meat products. I respectfully request that you do all in your power to urge the Court to uphold traditional carriages. Thank you for your service to our country.

How sweet.  These people are so stuck in the past, they actually feel as if the Supreme Court must push to keep us from moving on with our newer knowledge and  technology and throw out our cars in lieu of horses and buggies.

I just have one question:  Who shovels all the horse apples?

Here is the original text if you care to read it.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beyond Fundamentalism: My Kids Know Stuff I Don't

I know.  Shocking.

Actually, it's not really that big a deal.  As a child of a fundamentalist and crazy Mama, my brain told me she knew everything about me because she wielded such heavy-handed power and control.  If I was fifty states away from her, I would still feel as if her watchful eye was hovering above me, waiting for me to screw up, just to give her the chance to bring that boar-bristle, hardwood brush down on my head (thankfully cushioned by my wavy and thick locks).

But she never did.  I kicked my own arse by telling her about all my infractions when I would get home.  She didn't even have to ask.  I just did it.  It felt cleansing.  Like admitting all your impure thoughts about ice cream during lent, to a priest.

So, naturally, I thought that all parents of all children kept track of everything their kids did and learned.    I know now that most of those fundamentalist parents lived in a state of denial, while their kids hid as much as they could from them.  I was just an idiot outlier.

I began thinking about this while listening to my six kids and a few neighbor kids, sitting in the dining room, eating gourmet sandwiches that cost me too much, discussing what Star Wars characters they would be after lunch.

I never saw Star Wars, except for the first old one in 10th grade.  I liked it a bit, but only because my 10th grade English teacher was so freaking hot.  She had mid-back length blonde hair, perfect skin, tightly wrapped around her beautifully shaped cheek bones, the bluest eyes I ever laid my own on, hands that were as delicate as a floating snowflake around Christmas, and a voice that sang like a swallow on a sunny day.  After graduating from her class and failing to capture her heart so she would leave her new husband for me, I lost interest in the series.

I saw the first one again a few months ago and laughed at it the whole way through.  They tried so hard to take themselves seriously and failed so miserably at it.  The special effects are atrocious and the story line, completely unbelievable.  I got up from the couch and threw the remote at the television, a bad taste in my mouth.

I'd been duped.  Grown men wept when new Star Wars movies came out.  They would get on their knees in my office and implore me with Shakespearean prose, begging me to reconsider my interests and succumb to the inevitable fact that Star Wars was the best thing known to mankind.

All lies.

Frederic (8) made sure that the boys were the good Star characters and the girls were the bad guys.  Apparently Laura (9) cut a deal, Fred allowing her to be Chewbacca who is or isn't good - I'm not sure.  As they sat there and went through character after character, discussing the decency of each, I became more acutely aware of my ignorance.

But guess what? I'm okay with that.  Not because I am completely disinterested in the subject, but simply because I don't want my kids to be me.  I want them to be who they are and find the unique person they believe themselves to be.  And Star Wars lovers or not, I'm going to stand behind them - even if I have to bail them out of jail a few times on their way there.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Beard is Cheap Acupuncture

Earlier this morning, I grabbed Analisse (2), aka, The Freak, up in my arms and began chewing on her cheek and kissing her nose.  I like to grow my beard for a week or two, then shave it off nice and clean and start the process all over again.  I began doing this when I grew my first whisker and determined to maintain the habit when I read a study that stated that people who don't shave their beards every day die earlier than those that do.

I think I need to inform Aunt Gertrude.  She has an epic 'stache that needs to be trimmed daily.  

Anyway, I'm determined to provide their control by bucking the trend.

In the meantime, I'm kissing Analisse and she's screaming and giggling while pushing me away with all her might.  I giggled right along with her and then put her down so she could run away from me.

A few minutes later, Jack (4) began to whimper about some Legos that fell apart.  I crawled over to him and assured him that Legos fall apart all the time because they want you to put them back together (I learned this in another study that measured the feelings of inanimate object like Legos and Nerf bullets, the latter being petrified every time they were loaded into a Nerf gun.  The trick is to spread superglue on the tip of the bullet to shield their sense of flying through the air.  Just watch the eyes when you shoot).  He took it like a champ, smiled, and began to clip those bricks back together.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught The Freak staring at me.  I looked her direction and noticed her cheek.  The one I had been chewing on and smooching.  It was covered in red dots that were spreading.  

Oops.  Guess it's time to shave.  Now I know why she was screaming and pushing me away.

OMG! Libby Anne Reads My Blog!!!!

Okay.  I knew she cursorily kept track of my writing from a distance, so I'm not really that freshly excited.  But, nonetheless, I have been writing for two years now and she was one of my original commenters.

At that time, I still considered myself a Christian and a large portion of my blogging was spent discussing the non-fundamentalist ideas of Christianity and fighting against spiritual abuse, patriarchy, female submission, pastoral authority, etc., from a biblical point of view.

Six months later, I dropped any sort of belief in a god.  

I still wrote about the above subjects, albeit from a different angle - from the outside looking in.  I felt I had a unique perspective, being that I grew up heavily fundamentalist, and then married as a patriarchal, quiverfull husband, had six children, required my wife to submit, then dropped it altogether.

I knew these people that ran the movement, intimately.  I knew how they thought.  I knew how they viewed the Scriptures and how they interpreted them.  I knew it all.  Some people, then and now, still think they can convince me to come back to Christianity, being that obviously, my brand of it was the wrong brand.  The problem is, Christianity is based on exactly one holy book and I have read that holy book from cover to cover, scores of times.  I know all the evil parts of the Bible.  You can read through my blog to see my thoughts on many subjects.

Now that you know a little background, I'm going to complain a little bit.

Libby Anne said:

[Incongruous Circumspection] deal[s] specifically with Christian Patriarchy, fundamentalism, and leaving [the movement]. [... Incongruous Circumspection's] main focus is healing from and countering harmful religious messages and spiritual abuse.

That is true.  I am typecast.  And I am trying valiantly to remove that stigma from myself.  I want to branch out into believable fiction, essays, things college students would read and worship, inviting me to speak at conventions for writing, alternate views of popular religious stories, political pieces, name it.

I have beaten patriarchy to a dead pulp and I keep beating it more and more.  The pulp is quivering beneath my blows and begging me to hit it..."just one more time!"  Granted, my most popular posts are still about fundamentalism and the tangents that heads off into, so I am aware that my readership is still interested.  Any great writer (not that I consider myself among the greats) writes for his audience while maintaining some personal authenticity.

Thus, it is imperative that, while I expand my subjects, I also expand my readership.  I hope that the next time my dear friend whom I've never met, Libby Anne, lists my blog amongst other blogs, I fall into a category of my own.

The..."Um...I have no idea how to categorize Incongruous Circumspection. It's damn good!" category. 

The In-Laws Are Here

They asked for waffles.  I make awesome waffles.  Crispy, light, melt-in-your-mouth waffles.

This morning is going to be epic.

Friday, February 15, 2013

I Am Not the World's Greatest Dad

I arrived home to the smell of steamy poop.  The dining room smelled like it.  The living reeked.  Kristine had just left for work and I needed to make supper.  I decided to breathe through my mouth and close my nose with my epiglottis.  You become a master at that exercise as a dad of six kids.  I'm as good at that as a woman doing kegels (in preparation for childbirth, of course).

We began training Analisse (2) to go to the bathroom on the potty a week or so ago.  She forced our hand by ripping off her diaper and marching to the toilet, opening it, peeing, wiping herself, and then notified us of her victory by slamming the cover down so hard, it shook the house.  I heard the noise and rushed into the bathroom, only to be greeted by a giggly little girl, so proud of her accomplishment, she was spewing out the words in perfect sentences:

"I went peeeee!!!!"

She got candy.

But that was pee.  She loved doing it.  She hated diapers - unless she had to poop.  Kristine sat with her a few days ago for a few hours, finally coaxing her to go one little turd.  She kept hopping off and coming back, hopping off, and coming back.  Finally, she succumbed and let out a little sheep ball of blackness.  That was the last time.

I found the pork chops in the freezer and walked up the basement stairs.  I could smell the fecal matter as I neared the top stair and went into denial mode, covering my nose again from the inside.  I defrosted the meat and sliced potatoes, hoping beyond hope, grasping at the elusive possibility that Kristine had left a diaper on her from nap time.  I convinced myself of this, even though Kristine had informed me on the second day of Analisse's potty training that she slept through nap time with underwear on.

I finished defrosting the chops, poured olive oil into the bottom of two glassware cake pans, covered them with salt and freshly ground pepper, shoved the pans in the oven at 350 degrees, and began to fry the potatoes.

Analisse ran past me giggling.

I laughed as she ran past me, momentarily forgetting that I was purposefully plugging my nose.  I breathed in deeply - and choked on the rancid air.  This was most definitely not a diaper issue.  She had gone in her underwear.  I knew it.  But, I had one last glimmer of hope and, grasping at it, I yelled out to the living room:

"Renaya!  Laura!  Frederic!  Change The Freak's diaper....NOW!!!"

Every good parent knows that you yell the names of all capable hands.  Only one will really end up doing the task, but she'll pummel the other two and force them to help her.  This way, if things go bad, they might, together, be able to get something done successfully, decreasing the chances that you'll need to pitch in and help where you would rather not.

I just wanted to cook supper!

The kids sprang to action, sitting up slightly in their resting positions in the living room.

"Now!! Dammit!!!" 

Now they knew I meant business and slowly dragged themselves out to the kitchen, chased The Freak down and I listened carefully as they laid her down in the living room, preparing to change the diaper.

I busied myself with the frying, counting down the six seconds that it would take to discover underwear vs. a diaper.  Sure enough:

"Ewww, Daddy!  YUCK!  Gross, Daddy!  This is disgusting.  Blecht!  Oh, nasty!!!!!"

My heart hit the floor.  

I rushed into the living room, scooped Ani up in my arms, walked quickly to the bathroom with a bucket of wipes and laid her down on the bathroom rug.  Her shirt and pants were fine as I peeled them off but I could see her underwear was a thick and slimy mass of soft squishy wonder.  I took them off slowly, yelled for a garbage bag (threatening no supper if I didn't get it in seconds), got it delivered to me in record time, cleaned up her butt, kicked her out of the bathroom, happy and giggling, and then focused my attention on the underwear.

The poop was halfway between a hard ball and diarrhea.  It covered the entire area of the back of her underwear.  I rolled up a wad of toilet paper and tried valiantly to scrape the contents into the toilet.

The poop wouldn't budge.

I began to turn on the hot sink water, thinking I would wash it off, hoping the majority would melt away or evaporate into hot steam, hoping I wouldn't plug up the p-trap.  The p-trap!  

Turning around, I tossed the underwear in the garbage bag, tied it closed, washed my hands, and texted Kristine that we needed to buy more underwear.  I returned to the kitchen and finished supper - arguably more flavorable at this point. 

Stop Thinking Poorly About Yourself - Part 2

In Part 1, I wrote about the thoughts that roll around in the head of the person who gets a late start in life due to various life decisions that differ from the normal "graduate from high school, go to college, graduate from college, start career, be mostly successful by 30" narrative.  Thoughts like "I'm a failure for my past decisions" and "I don't deserve accolades or praise for a job well done, because it's something I should have done a while ago".

My conclusion was that you're too hard on yourself.  First of all, people from all walks of life start moving at different ages.  Some don't push off from the dock at all.  You, on the other hand, who are starting later, going to school, getting a job, and starting a career now, rather than earlier, are already shoved off.  You're on your way.

That being said, here is another thought that might roll around in your head:

Others are looking at me like I'm a failure:

My initial reaction would be, "Your point?!"  Or... "So?!"

But that's not too helpful.  I know you're asking for a hug, a slap on the back, and a push in the same direction you're headed, but let me add some other thoughts to the necessary empathy.

When I married Kristine, I had just graduated from a two year technical college diploma program.  I stayed in that industry for six weeks.  Then I jumped right into running my own remodeling business.  I could have had all the business I wanted, but I was miserably lazy.  I was very good with people - loved to talk and listen...nah...just talk - and I decided to go into sales.

I did sales, off and on for years.  I sold appliances, vacuum cleaners, cars, school fundraising, Schwan's food (door-to-door frozen food sales), and finally ended up as a banker at Wells Fargo.  I loved what I did and made just enough money to support my family, along with assistance from the government.

Our family grew and I went back to school at night, looking for a business degree.  I had a few semesters in when I entered into a chance conversation with a burger-flipper at McDonald's.  I asked him if he had gone to college.  His answer floored me:

"Yep!  I have an MBA.  In fact, about half the workers here have business degrees."

That was it for me.  I switched my major to Computer Science and never looked back.  I graduated with that degree when I was already 29 years old and am now nearing my fourth year in the field.  It's very rewarding and supports our needs, enabling Kristine to move forward with her career.

But I had many detractors.  People told me that I was going to a school that wouldn't give me a good education.  They were right, in some respects.  I did not attend a prestigious university, but I did the best I could for our location and what we could afford.  I was also told that it was sinful for my wife to run a daycare out of our home to help put me through college.  I struggled with procrastination constantly and wanted to quit, many times.

I went to others for help with my schoolwork and, though they were very helpful, I couldn't help but feel that they were thinking I was over my head and should just go back to my dead-end jobs and quit school altogether.  

I didn't though.  I kept going, graduated with honors, and was hired right out of college - due to networking beforehand.  There were only a few people that mattered to me.  Kristine and my beautiful children.  I was doing it for them.  Everyone else who came against me or discouraged me could go pound sand for all I cared.  I did what I needed to do and now, looking back, it was tough, but the right thing.

You're on your way.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  It will be tough.  Some parts will be easy, but don't get complacent or take anything for granted.  The minute you do, you'll get knocked on your rear end.  Politically, you will be lumped in with lazy people - especially if you make minimum wage or accept government assistance.  Don't worry about it.  You know better.  You know where you're going.  You're better than the naysayers anyway.  They simply love themselves and have no concept of a social contract, assisting you in your not-so-perfect endeavors.

I trust you.  Get on with your life.

Stop Thinking Poorly About Yourself

Say you grew up a fundamentalist Christian.  Maybe you were converted to it.  Say you required unquestioning submission of your wife and children.  Maybe you are a woman who has broken free of quiverfull ideals and no longer subscribe to the doctrine of patriarchy.  Maybe you had many children and are just beginning to get your life on a path to future success.  Maybe you were forced to only be a part of the family business and later, when you left the family, had no real marketable skills.

Whatever the reason, you're older now and
 you look at yourself, and you consider yourself behind everyone else at your age.  You are starting late.  You are.  That's a fact.  But is it a negative?

I'm going to go through a small list of thoughts that might be shooting their way through your brain regularly, keeping you down on yourself, and causing you to constantly look over your shoulder, checking if you are as good as you really are.

With my past, I failed myself:

I was beaten and abused when I was a child.  I grew up fundamentalist and believed in female submission, Michael Pearl style child abuse, single income families (the dad worked, of course), and all Republican principles.  I made sure my wife submitted, bought her books on how to submit (thanks to Debi Pearl), and plenty of books on child-rearing.

Would I change any of it?  Does Kristine, my wife want to change any of it?  Absolutely!  We made some decisions that were based on our upbringing that have given others a leg up on us, leaving us to claw our way back into society, building our careers at a later stage in life, and a bunch of confused kids.  They barely even know what a spanking is now and wonder why we don't care so much if they pee in their beds.

But there are many things I cannot change.  The abuse as a child.  The way my life led me into what I was.  The fact that we birthed six beautiful children and they cost money and require an extra level of responsibility.    I mean, seriously, which kid could I do without?  How would my character of determination and motivation, looking for a better future, be changed if I had not gone through what I did.

I understand pain and anguish.  I understand confusion.  I understand the need to be loved and feel as if nobody gave a crap about me - for me, unless I was towing the line, both religiously and politically.

So no.  You have not failed in your past.  Your past is simply that - YOUR PAST!  How you utilize it to propel you into the future will determine your failure status.  Your decisions may have been bad or poorly referenced and yet, they were not failures.  You can and will improve.  Now move forward.

I don't deserve accolades for good grades and career success, starting later in life, because I simply HAVE to do it.  Thus, I must push harder than others, making me look better than them, even though I'm really not:

Pure, unadulterated bullshit.  I have never heard worse poppycock in my entire life.  That's just stupid.  Stop thinking that immediately.  Right now.  If your brain even begins to entertain that thought again, stick a pencil in your eye (okay...don't do that, really).

Those who went to college right out of high school, started their careers at 21, learned to socialize with a variety of people that they may not agree with, are making money - good money - at this stage in their life, ALSO HAD TO WORK for their success.  They had obstacles, just like you do.  They overcame those obstacles and deserved their accolades.  You also have obstacles, potentially much greater obstacles, have more life experience, and are starting on your career path much later in life.

Like hell you don't deserve accolades.  You do!  Get over it.  Let people who know you tell you how awesome you are. Eat that shit up and enjoy it while it lasts.  You'll look like everyone else twenty years from now and you'll miss the pleasures of today - the worshipful "you're a hell of a human being".

Read Part 2...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Living With Minimum Wage: Claudia's Story

I am collecting stories about people working minimum wage or below poverty level jobs. My purpose is to provide a counter argument to the ignorant meme found in my last post.  Please feel free to send me your story, as well. 

Claudia's story:
My story?
I was raised in such a way that my choice was to either be married to someone who was independently wealthy (next to impossible) or be a charity case. I'm determined to not be option B and option A is very elusive.
So I went to college, got two 4-year degrees and spent the first 3.5 years after graduating with said degrees flipping burgers for minimum wage. I did so just as enthusiastically as is humanly possible. I used my brains as much as I could possibly use my brains to flip burgers. I contributed as much to my work experience as my employers would allow me -- which was basically, "Come to work, do your job and get the hell out of here when we tell you to leave."
I did all of it with the desire to work to the best of my potential and to do a good job. In the last 15 months, I've worked a job that I enjoy, which pays slightly more (but is still barely over minimum wage), at which I'm not allowed to use my brain at all.
My coworkers who have associate's degrees get offended if I "spout off" too much -- which basically means that if they hear my voice regarding anything they feel is "their" job, [even if it relates to mine], they flip out, tell the boss and I get to have a nice little meeting with the boss.  
Once again, overqualified, and in their eyes, over-enthusiastic and over-achieving. It sucks. I AM planning on staying with this job though, because I enjoy the majority of my job (as long as I'm not in the office), I have benefits (YES! This is the first time I've ever had those), they are very accommodating with my school schedule, and it is VERY good experience for my future career. And, even though it's barely more than minimum wage, it pays more and is steadier income than any job I've ever had.  
And the benefits? Fantastic.

I Want Your Minimum Wage Story

Look at this image traveling around the internet - posted on an ignorant Facebook page, The Comical Conservative.

There is nothing comical about this meme, whatsoever.  Conservatives yell so loudly that saying "the rich don't pay their fair share" is inciting class warfare, and then they put out something like this. 

I get it.  It's wrong to talk about rich people paying taxes but anyone and everyone who are struggling - well...that's fair game!

Well guess what?!  There aren't many people who make the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 and hour (only about 2% of the working population in 2012), but that doesn't mean a larger percentage doesn't make just above that.  But, do those people fit the profile in the above meme?  Are they all lazy?  Do they have minimum skills?  Motivation?  Do they provide a minimum contribution to society?  Ha!  Hardly.

My wife owned a daycare for a while and we became intimately aware of many types of people making minimum wage.  Enough people didn't even come close to fitting this profile that I reject it out of hand.  This type of language does nothing to lift people out of the struggles they are in.

What's worse, I'm sure that the people who created this meme have no issue with negotiating a raise with their own place of business - aware that they need more money, every year, to make ends meet.  But they want to make foolish arguments about holy corporations being forced by an imperial government, to do things that they don't want to do.

The sad narrative is that the people who make minimum wage will be the first to help these assholes when they are down for the count.  It's a well known fact that poor people give more.  Will they spit in their faces then?

Please send me your story about your minimum wage life (or close to minimum wage, anyway).  I'll publish it here.  Click on the Contact Me tab at the top.


I. C.

How to Select a New Pope in Modern Times

The Catholic Church is in dire need of alms.  With all the scandals in the west, pedophile priests, increased knowledge and lack of belief in crazy fairy tales (like the idea that paying money to a religious institution having a direct effect on the afterlife...I mean...we laugh at the Egyptians stupidity in burying all the wonders with their royalty and then millions of Catholics do just that), Google, Bing, Yahoo, smart phones, the whole of the interweb, conspiracy theories, The Davinci Code, as well as better toasters that burn fewer slices of toast, society is less apt to believe.

Thus, the Catholic Church needs to shake it up a bit.

Forget the puffs of smoke.  Black means whatever.  White means something else?  Then you have to get it right so you don't get a  mixture.  Environmentalists getting after you for releasing unnecessary carcinogens into the atmosphere.  Potential pope robes catching fire.  You name it.  So many problems.  So old school.

My friend Robbie Kiefer has a better idea:

The Pope Claw.

Here's how you do it:

Take all the potential pontiffs in the running, put them in a modified Popemobile with one of those claws that pick up (they lie!) stuffed animals in a restaurant.  Park it in the middle of St. Peter's square. The faithful can then flock to the Vatican and pay a fee (a few dollars) and then try their hand at The Pope Claw.  

The joystick will be in the shape of a large nail, of course.  The claw, looking like a crown of thorns.

This is a win-win.  The Catholic Church increases its revenue stream and the faithful get to be intimately involved with the pope selection process.

They can even accept credit cards or (gasp!) RFID chip payments.  THAT will get Glenn Beck talking.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Jesus, Please Don't Come Back Yet...I Want to Have Sex

As a child of nine years old, I met a girl at church.  I fell in love.  I fell hard.  Very hard.  I dreamed of her at night, dreamed of asking her dad for her hand in marriage.  Dreamed of me growing up and asking her dad if I could work with him, apprentice with him in his trade.  I wanted so bad to make an impression where she would love me - at 9.

Only problem, I wasn't allowed to talk to girls, really.  Anytime I would, Mama would run over and put herself between me and the girl and remove me from the situation.  I would sneak a joke or two in and when this beautiful girl would giggle and blush, I would wear that on my heart for weeks.

I learned to run these kamikaze missions on girls very well.  As I grew up, any conversation longer than a sentence would cause my face to turn three shades of red.  I realized I couldn't talk to women.

How horrid!

As my teen years commenced, this became more of a problem.  I wasn't very good with women and would trip over all my words.  I'd want to say things but couldn't.  I retreated to simple and hilarious jokes again.  People laughed and yet I felt empty.  I just wanted to talk and have long conversations with the female sex, holding them in my arms, feeling the warm body of womanhood on my skin.

I wanted to have sex, make love, before Jesus came back.

I begged and pleaded for him to stay away.  In church, the preachers would thunder (or, in my case, more often than not, put you to sleep while crooning on and on) about how the world around us made it clear as day that Jesus was coming back soon.  Books and magazines cited prophetic current events that told us that Jesus' return was imminent.  

It never happened.  Every year, the same story.  I began to get excited as the years went by.

I might be able to have sex!!!!  Jesus was waiting for my opportunity.

So I changed my prayers....

"Jesus, just once.  That's all I need.  Just once.  I know you're looking at coming soon - all the signs point to it, but you've waited this long. I'll cut a deal with you.  Just let me have sex once!"

And he did...but more than once.  Waaayyyy more than once.

And I am happy he waited.  

What Would YOU Have Done if You Were Jesus

Jesus was God, according to a few writers in the Bible, and not according to others, but, for the sake of argument, let's pretend that the Bible is a single organism and everyone agreed.  Let's pretend there are no irreconcilable contradictions between the writers and Jesus was described as perfectly and unequivocally as Christians desire him to have been.  

I know...we'll have to really pretend hard!  I realize that.

Anyway, read this article about what you would have done if you were Jesus in this situation.  It's a fun read.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Huh? What is he even saying!?

I read this quote from a patriarchal bloke.  Seriously.  I read it four times.  I still don't know what the hell he is talking about.  Someone please interpret this for me.  Is he for or against polygamy.  What does marital licensing from the state have to do with polygamy.  What the hell is this guy saying!?

My favorite part:

Just these couple of sentences bring up lots of issues. I’m very interested in any opinions on this (as long as they are Christian). The others…I have no clue how to deal with people who don’t have a moral authority in their life. Go somewhere else.

Nice.  He's asking questions about morality and then claims others have no moral authority.  What the hell is he asking questions for then?  If HE has moral authority in his life, he should know all the answers.

Yeah yeah...  I know.  You'll come back with "he's asking for interpretation from the Bible - God's word - which is the TRUE moral authority.

Tell that to the raped and murdered women, men, and children, upon God's orders, in that moral book.  Tell that to the slaves that were not Jewish.  Tell that to the millions and billions of people who didn't get the riddle of life just right, so they ended up dead and in hell.  Tell that to homosexuals, whom God ordered murdered.  Tell that to women who didn't scream while being raped - who also were ordered to be murdered because, obviously, they wanted it. (The man got to go free, by the way.)

Yeah...don't even begin to talk to me about moral authority while waving the Bible in my face.

Monday, February 11, 2013

"Pastor" Anderson: Women Were Made to Cook

"Pastor" Steven Anderson is a misogynist asshole.  I pity his wife.

Check it out

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sustainability, Justin Danhof, Costco, and Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, based in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.  Justin Danhof is the General Counsel for the activist group, National Center for Public Policy Research.  He also serves as the Director for their Free Enterprise Project.

Last week, the two came together for a night of pillorying the company of Costco, based in Issaquah, Washington.  Justin Danhof, who, for the Free Enterprise Project, criss-crosses the country, attending corporate shareholder meetings, asking them the same series of questions, and then commenting later that CEO's of these corporations are ignorant and have no idea how to run a real company in a free market, was the guest of that evening's show.

According to Danhof, he stated that he brought up to the CEO of Costco that his company was a member of the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), a fact that CEO Craig Jelinek had no knowledge of.  This shocked Danhof, who declared that this lack of knowledge should worry shareholders.

But it wasn't this fact that made Danhof and Jason Lewis livid.  It was the sustainability initiative that, again according to Danhof, RILA was forcing upon its members.

Danhof listed a few infractions to shareholders and consumers that Costco was currently doing.  Installing solar panels on the expansive and otherwise unused rooftops of their warehouses.  Establishing a directive that all paper used in the company would be recycled material (something Danhof said increased costs considerably), using untested and non-vetted green materials when it was completely unnecessary.  All in the interest in making the company look green.

Danhof said that all these rules and regulations, forced upon Costco by RILA, were going to have a negative effect on the shareholders and consumers.  He then presented a poll that showed that people wouldn't want to pay a penny more for "stuff" even if they knew the price increases were due to the companies environmental improvement policies (what a surprise).  When Danhof said he presented that poll to the CEO, Jelinek sputtered or refused to answer the question of whether he would be willing to pay more for a $100 cart of goods.

But, that's not how the Seattle Times reported it.  According to them, Jelinek gave an intelligent, albeit nondescript response:
We’re not in business to try to figure out how to raise prices.  Our purpose is to figure out how to reduce costs and do it in an intelligent way.
Of course. No company who wants to increase profits for the benefit of their stakeholders -  the shareholders, the consumers, the ownership (which may simply be the shareholders), the vendors, and the employees - would do something that they think would  increase prices with no good reason.

Or would they?

In that Seattle Times article, they begin by saying the following:

Right or wrong, Wall Street long has criticized Costco for not being very shareholder-friendly. It pays its employees too well — goes the argument — or it sells merchandise cheaper than necessary to win customers.
But, in Danhof's  own diatribe, he says nothing about the employees of the company whatsoever.  His chief concern is for the shareholder with a disingenuous nod toward the consumer.  But, as is usual for these types of activist groups, they have a very narrow view of what a company should or should not be doing.  And, to Danhof and his group, the shareholders were all that really mattered.

Why is this a problem?  

Danhof probably thought that, since he was at a shareholder's meeting, the people who co-owned the company would be of one mind - wanting the best possible dividend for themselves.  This is a good assessment, but fails to get to the bottom of what increases and decreases a share price.  While profits and costs are one factor, public sentiment, employee satisfaction, and future prospects for a company are also key factors.

A company that does not look to the future and see where the world is going, but simply runs their corporation on an ideological premise, paying close attention to only their bottom line for the current quarter or a few quarters into the future, is one that is bound to become stagnant, or fail altogether.  A company who takes all factors of its business into account, even though there may be slow share price growth, or a short-term dip toward a long-term profit, is better for a shareholder in the long term.

Most interestingly is the fact that RILA is a private retail association and is not run by any public government anywhere.  This is a key point because, in Danhof's own words, the sustainability initiative is not allowing the "free market to work".  But, RILA being a part of the free market, this point implodes upon itself and has no teeth.

Even more to the point, if increased costs were a problem for Costco with this green initiative, why did they post a 2012 revenue increase of 17% with Street-beating profits up 30%?  It doesn't look like the doomsday prediction of recycled toilet paper is doing all that much to bite into the extreme success of one of the poster companies for those who think that employees deserve to be paid well for their work.

As Danhof spoke, Jason Lewis ate it up.  He loved his guest and wanted more.  He went to a caller who asked:
In order to get cheaper goods to the market, companies have moved into China where worker's rights (including children's) are routinely ignored, even and especially under the watchful eye of American corporations.  Are you suggesting that Costco should do more in China in order to satisfy their shareholders at the expense of human rights?
Jason Lewis' answer was very revealing, while never addressing the question:
 Sir, you know a lot about morality but next to nothing about economic principals.
He then disconnected the caller and ended the segment, praising Danhof for his work.

While finishing my drive home, I thought about the meaning behind that response.  But, really, I don't need to explain it to my readers at all.  The meaning is so obvious.

Economic principals, no matter how vile to those they affect, should trump morality at all levels of humanity.  

This is completely unacceptable.  Costco, thankfully, is looking to the future, with a sense of morality that includes taking care of their employees well, paying their CEO a pittance compared to other corporations, and looking to the future, making sure the environment is not mismanaged on account of their actions as a company.

There is nothing wrong with that.  Especially when you grow revenues by 17% and profits by 30%.  I see no downside and think it imperative that Danhof and Lewis admit that they are wrong.  Their principles of economic prosperity in the private market can work when implemented wisely.  And I see Costco as a wise company doing just that.

Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper: I Understand the Anger

As an ex-fundamentalist Christian, let me see if I can aptly explain the phenomenon of children that are born into the movement and then get out - especially how they are deserved to be viewed once out.

As many of my readers already know, Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper, granddaughters of the evil patriarch of the communal clan, Fred Phelps, left the Westboro Baptist Church cult in November of 2012.  On the 7th of February, 2013, Megan posted a quick article on her blog that revealed this news.  This was accompanied by articles all over the internet, with reporters who had interviewed Megan (Grace, as far as I am aware, has never publicly spoken to anyone).

That same day, I began a Facebook group called Megan and Grace Phelps Roper Supporters to show these young women public support for their decision to leave the cult, as well as supporting them in the future endeavors away from hateful rhetoric and actions.

For the most part, those who joined the group were very happy with the news and said as much.  But, here and there, it became quite obvious that others were understandably angry and wanted nothing to do with these two women.  As far as they cared, they would rather Megan and Grace went back to Westboro Baptist Church and stuck their heads back under the rock from whence they came.

I must say, while I completely understand this reaction, I believe it stems from not understanding how a child can be brainwashed into a system and then, in their later years, leave that system ready to be someone better.

I spoke of this in my blog article about the three (actually four) easy steps to spiritually abuse your child.  These four steps are what happened to me.  I went through this.  You can see the spiritual abuse in action in the video I embedded in this blog post.  In that video, you can see several things, while the reporter is asking the girls questions.  First, the adult is hanging back around the corner, ready to pounce if a girl said one thing off message.  Also, you can see the bright smiles and giggly laughter, accompanied by the nonchalant hatred and dead eyes of the girls when they speak of their message.  But pay attention to the way the girls feel when they speak of the little Muslim boy.  They work hard to say that he is going to hell.  But you can tell it hurts them to say it, even if they are not aware of the inner conflict.

These young women in the video were well on their way to becoming who their parents and immediate relatives were.  They were taught well and were regurgitating the hatred with abandon and conviction.  And yet I saw a glimmer of me in their eyes.  A little sliver of hope that they had been introduced to other ways of thinking and they were fighting a battle inside.  

I was right and I knew it.  Eight months later, I would be proven correct.

But what does that mean for Megan and Grace?  Do they deserve the anger towards them for what they did to everyone not like them, on the picket line or on social media where Megan was very prolific?  They said millions of hateful words, laughed in the faces of those that were weeping, spewed forth hateful curses on anyone and everyone who lent a listening ear or just happened to be a victim.  Not only did they do these things, but they believed what they were taught.  They had internalized it, ingested it, and then - lived it.

Now, they have a mess to clean up.  A mess that can easily be cleaned up by a deep apology and a life that will be lived - changed for good.  Megan already explained that in her blog post, quoting Batman, where she says:

There's no fresh start in today's world. Any twelve-year-old with a cell phone could find out what you did. Everything we do is collated and quantified. Everything sticks.

Exactly.  These women and their hateful words, will be forever found all over the internet.  They will never be able to get away from them.  No matter how often and forcefully they apologize, anyone and everyone can point to their past and say, "but..."

I will choose to look at my past life, where I was brainwashed as a child, to despise all homosexuals, Democrats, Muslims, Jews (unless they were Messianic Jews), and, well...anyone who didn't believe the exact creeds that I was told (and even believed) were true.  I hurt plenty of people, have since apologized both privately and publicly, and have moved on with a more love-filled and logical life.  Yet, even with this knowledge of myself, there will be many who do not accept my words or actions.  Everything I used to be is still who I am, according to them.

I am okay with that.  I know who I am and refuse to apologize for me, today.  I will not be held blameless for what I did in my past and yet I refuse to be guilty for it.  I did what I was taught.  I am a new person.

And so are Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper.  Time will tell the rest of their story.

Friday, February 8, 2013

I Have a Neighbor Named...Who?

The house phone rang.  I looked at the caller ID and saw "Private Number" displayed on the screen.  I didn't pick it up.  Then, it rang again.  I yelled at the phone.

"Why the hell are you calling me with a blocked number!  I don't answer those."

Picking up the phone, I gruffly half-shouted a salutation at it.  A sweet voice came over the line.

"Hello, may I speak to Tammy Whipton* please?"

"Uh...sorry ma'am.  No Tammy Whipton here," I said matter of factly.

"Really, sir?  I'm looking at court documents and she has right here as her primary contact, your name, number, and address."

Frankly, knowing no Tammy in my neighborhood, let alone someone who would consider me a primary contact, flattered as that made me, I replied (chuckling), "Hmmm...that's funny."

"I'm sorry sir," she retorted, "I don't see the humor in it."

Crap.  I thought this was a pleasant phone call.  I thought we were both trying to figure out a problem together, and attempted to be amiable, but she was serious.  I could tell she thought I was lying.  As far as she knew, I was a meth cooker with a stash of weed under my basement stairs, hiding felons in a Corrie Ten Boom-style bunker in my third floor tower's fake ceiling.  I heard in her voice that she suspected Tammy looking over my shoulder, listening to the phone call, twittering a little giggle into her hand, trying helplessly to stop from bursting into a fit of loud laughter.  She pressed on.

"Sir, why do you think Tammy put your name on her court documents as her primary contact?"

"That's an excellent question," I mocked.  "Looks like we're both now wondering the same thing."

"Sir, this is just a bit strange."

"No shit.  Here, let me call my wife.  Maybe she knows Tammy.  Give me your number and I'll call you back with the details."

"I'm sorry sir.  I don't give out my personal information.  I'm a processor of court documents, you know.  You want me to call her? "

"Um, no.  I don't give random people, who tell me neighbors I don't have, put me on court documents, that only allegedly exist, my wife's personal information.  Call me back in five minutes."

"Okay," she said, obviously irritated, and hung up.

I called Kristine and got the answer I was expecting.  No.  She didn't know a Tammy Whipton.  Yes, she still loved me.  Yes, she would be happy if I made her meatballs and spaghetti (in that order) for dinner tonight.  No, she wouldn't stop at the liquor store to get a bottle of Minnestalgia Blueberry Wine from McGregor, Minnesota.  No, she wasn't going through PMS. Then the cussing started due to my assertion, so I quickly got off the phone, called up a local florist, ordered some flowers with a card that said, 

I'm deeply sorry.  I realize your irritability had nothing to do with your physiological chemistry and had everything to do with your personality that I fell in love with so many years ago.  I love you with all of my heart - except for the part I kinda need for the Minnestalgia Raspberry Honeywine, but we can discuss my love affair with that later.  I hope this dozen roses will bring you back home to my arms tonight. 

Shortly thereafter, the processor called back and introduced herself by her fake name.  I knew her real name was "Private Number" and "Emilou Harkness" didn't impress me.  My caller ID never lies.

"Did you get the details from your wife?"

"Yes.  She's not buying the wine.  But more to your point, as I suspected, she doesn't know a Tammy Whipton."

"Sir, that doesn't make any sense.  How could she have gotten your information," she whipped out, her voice rising in anger.  She was convinced she was being lied to.  I felt bad that I was having fun.  I knew nothing of this Tammy woman and yet had always been kind to everyone who abused me or didn't have the right to ask things of me.  I was finally asserting my rights - at 32.

"Well, Emilou, this is a public number.  If she had my cell number, well then..."

Emilou cut me off.

"Doesn't it worry you that she's entering your information on court documents?"

"Well, now.  Does that involve me in the court case at all?  Can I get called into court because of this mix-up?"


"Well then, no it doesn't worry me.  Not at all."

"Sir, why would Tammy say she knew you and yet you don't know her?"

"Isn't that your problem?  I don't think it's remotely my issue."

Thoroughly frustrated and deeply suspicious, Emilou quickly excused herself and hung up.

I've arrived.  I'm ready to be an old crank, pissing off the nicest people.  People who are just doing their jobs - and doing them well.  Yes.  Those people.  They will spit on my coffin at my funeral, saying things like, "How did Kristine ever put up with him?!"

*all names have been changed to protect the innocent (or, more likely, the guilty)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

That's Going to Bring Me Back to God?

The other night, I was talking to a gentleman about nothing and everything.  We spoke of current events, the economy, Israel, taxes - you name it.  Then, the conversation led to how I treat people in positions of authority.

I lamented the fact that many people I know tend to view their bosses as a sort of master and become "yes" individuals, losing all sense of creativity or individuality.  As in the book, "The Five Dysfunctions of the Team", you see that this is not only bad for the individual's career, but the company they work for will suffer.

Disagreement is paramount.  Differing viewpoints that can and do lead to constructive disagreement.  The company that relies on god-like management is a company that will be caught up in slow or stagnant growth, or fail altogether.

I mentioned how I treat my job differently and used the unfortunate words, "I don't respect authority very well."

To that, this gentleman replied with a chuckle, "Yep!  And you don't respect God currently either."

My response was non-committal.  "Well, if that god wants to get my attention, he has every opportunity to do so.  I'm ready for the lightening bolt."

He replied that, by then, it would be too late and that god would smash me deep into the ground.


Think about it.  God apparently loves humanity.  A human decides that God is evil, according to the holy book all his followers claim that god wrote.  Then, that human decides to go his own way, deciding plainly that he is perfectly fine without a fairy being.  The god - who loves you deeply - decides that the only way to bring you back to him is to hurt you.


Yeah.  Typical.  It's all over the Bible.  Exactly what he did to the nation of Israel.  Exactly what he did to Paul.  Exactly what he did to millions in those pages.

No thank you.  I'm fine.  I'll stick with people I can not only see, but actually love you, even if you don't love them perfectly.

We Can Show Love and Support to The Phelps-Roper Defectors

Like this Facebook Page and let's work together to prove their parents and family wrong - that we don't care for them.  We do.

Megan and Grace Phelps-Roper Supporters

Tony Perkins Calls All Catholic Priests Pedophiles

Okay.  He really didn't, but, if you follow his logic, it's pretty clear that he hasn't thought it through.

Here is the link to the audio.

Tony Perkins of The Family Research Council says:
It’s kind of ironic to me, I thought…just on its surface it seems very ironic to me that some of the very ones who are pushing this policy change in the Boy Scouts are some of the same ones that were screaming about the Catholic Church and wanting them to be more transparent and liable for the damages that were done. The Catholic Church has paid out millions of dollars as a result of those cases of abuse that took place and now they are putting the Boy Scouts into the same compromising situation. It just does not add up.

Here, Perkins says that Catholics who have been encouraging the Boy Scouts to open up their membership to gays are the same Catholics that called for more transparency of their own priesthood.  Thinking that is ironic, he follows it up with something quite curious, stating that the Catholics are asking the Boy Scouts to put themselves in the same compromising situations as their own boys.

Really, Tony?

You just said that there can be no Catholic priest trusted with any boy.  Is that what you want on record?

I see the position of Catholics as very consistent.  They don't want priests raping altar boys and thus, they call for more transparency from the leadership.  Why?  Simple. Because they understand that while all Catholic priests that rape young boys are pedophiles, that does not mean that all Catholic priests are therefore pedophiles.  The transparency is for all parents of altar boys to know if their priest is a rapist or not.  This was the whole problem with the Catholic Church scandal years ago.  The leadership had moved the offending priests around - quietly.  This meant that no trusting parents could ever know of their priest's infractions.

In the same vein, there are gay pedophiles, as there are straight pedophiles.  The distinction has nothing to do with their sexual orientation, though.  It is simply whether or not they groom and rape children.  Thus, parents who happen to be Catholic, who desire for their gay friends to be allowed into the Boy Scouts, can be assured that most, if not all, of those that are gay, will be good to their sons.  If not, one can expect them to remove and excoriate the offending party as quickly and harshly as they clamor for the removal and defrocking of their own priesthood.